April 5, 2006

Arts participation survey
Key findings

Key findings from the survey New Zealanders and the arts: attitudes, attendance and participation in 2005:


  • 84% of New Zealanders aged 15+ attended at least one arts event in the past year
  • One-third (32%) of New Zealanders aged 15+ attended arts events regularly – at least once a month
  • Just over one-third (35%) of New Zealanders 15+ have attended a Māori arts event in the past 12 months
  • One-third (33%) of New Zealanders aged 15+ have attended a Pacific arts event in the past 12 months
  • In terms of frequency, the most significant increase in attendance levels (9% overall) is at Māori arts events


Participation in the arts by New Zealanders aged 15+ was analysed by frequency of participation. The study shows that:

  • Half of the population (50 %) actively participated in the arts
  • Income has no influence on arts participation
  • Educational attainment has more influence on arts attendance than on arts participation
  • More than half the people who don’t attend any arts events are favourably disposed to the arts. This group is heavily involved in the arts through participation rather than attendance
  • Lack of time and other commitments is the main reason for attending arts events less often
  • Ethnic groups in New Zealand are active participants in the arts
  • Māori show the highest positive skew towards active participation. They represent
  • One-fifth (21%) of the group who most actively participate in the arts

To determine New Zealanders’ attitudes to the arts they were asked to agree or disagree with a series of statements.

The findings show that:

  • 77% agree that the arts should receive public funding
  • 76% agree the arts help define who we are as New Zealanders
  • 75% agree the arts are strong in New Zealand
  • 74% agree the arts contribute positively to our economy
  • 73% agree that their community would be poorer without the arts
  • 56% say the arts are part of their daily lives
  • 41% say they cannot live without the arts

10-14 age group:

Some key findings from the 10-14 age group include:

  • 87% agreed that the arts are enjoyable
  • 63% said their friends are interested in the
  • 80% used a computer to create art
  • 51% said the arts are part of their family’s life
  • 35% attended Māori arts events with family and friends outside of school in the past year. Of those more than one-third (35%) attended two or three times
  • 51% participated in Pacific arts with their school in the past 12 months (24% outside of school)

The arts were defined as:

  • Visual arts: painting, photography, sculpture, web-based/digital art, ceramic-making, film making (and film festivals included in attendance questions)
  • Performing arts – theatre, dance, music: ballet or contemporary dance performances, theatre, concerts, singing or musical performances or events, circuses
  • Literature: writing workshops or a literary event; writing poetry, fiction or non-fiction
  • Māori arts: arts or craft, workshops including carving, weaving or singing, kappa haka or other Māori dance or music activities
  • Pacific arts: weaving and other Pacific handicrafts, workshops, carving, traditional dance, choir or other musical activities

And participation was defined as active participation, that is actually making or doing something, and the potential roles were:

  • artist/performer
  • crew/helper/volunteer
  • teacher/coach
  • organiser/ producer/director
  • fundraiser/committee/board member
  • student.
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